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Piers Morgan Tonight

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America 23, Us 6, United States 5, Chicago 5, Sandy 5, Slimful 3, Beau Biden 3, New York 3, Britain 3, Australia 3, Scotie 3, Joe Biden 2, Michael Nutter 2, Cuomo 2, Nra 2, Adjudic 2, Geico 2, Philadelphia 2, U.s. 2, Diabetes 2,
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  CNN    Piers Morgan Tonight    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    January 15, 2013
    6:00 - 6:59pm PST  

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dwight. >> it can't mean that. there's a lake there. >> it knows where it's going. >> this is the lake! >> the machineg knows. >> stop yelling at me. >> there's no road here! >> it's not just on "the office" this sort of thing happens. no, no, in august a man followed his gps instructions right into a har br in lsksz. back in march, three japanese tourists drove a rented hyundai right into the bay. why? the gps told them to, of course. they had to bail out of the car and get a tow truck driver to come pick them up. i know we all rely on these device devices but when they start telling us to drive into bodies of water or to croatia and we actually do it, take a step back. i would say more but i'm afraid i'm starting to sound like the drunk uncle from "saturday night live." >> nowadays it's just, hey, could you e-mail me dinner? could you fax me a hug? text me. text me. text me. why don't you write a letter,
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you dummy? spotify me, spotify me. you know what i wa a groupon for? a moment's peace. >> in conclusion it is always a god idea to trust your instincts a little bit more and your gadgets a little less or else you might take a wrong turn on to the ridiculist. pier piers morgan starts right now. this is the piers morgan tonight special, guns in america. you're looking live at white house where tomorrow president obama will unveil his gun control plan for the nation, believed to be the most sweeping and controversial since the crowation of the second amendment. press secretary jay carney says the president's proposals will be significant. >> the president has made clear that he intends to take a comprehensive approach, including the assault weapons ban, including a measure to ban hi high-capacity magazine clips, including an effort to close the very big loopholes in the background check system in our country. >> is the white house plan enough?
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we'll talk to experts on both sides of the gun battle. victims' families and big city mayors. adam lanza murdered 20 children and six adults, at least 917 americans have been killed by guns. nra reports an unprecedented surge in membership, up 250,000 over the past month. add to that, record sales of ar-15 assault rifles. what's the solution? more weapons or stricter laws? let's talk about all of that tonight with our studio audience. it's our version of the town hall, the most important issue facing america right now. here is what the president is going to propose tomorrow. he will press for a ban on high capacity magazines with more than ten rounds. he will push for universal background checks and criminal and mental health checks, press for an assault weapons ban and the president will request that money be made available to treat mental illness. and that schools have more security.
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i agree with most of that. all of this comes on a day of two new school shootings, one in kentucky that left two dead and one in missouri that left two men injured. if you want to be part of the conversation, join us on twitter. use our hash tag which is #gunsinamerica. michael nutter and his police commissioner. delaware attorney general beau biden, son of vice president joe biden. welcome. >> thank you. >> let me start with you, if i may, mr. mayor. you're a mayor of a major american city, many of the big cities in america, from what you understand of what the president will be revealing tomorrow, is that enough? >> it's a fantastic start. the problem is that we haven't done enough in the past. first and foremost, president obama and the work of vice president biden needs to be
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commended. this will not be easy. we all know that. for all those, if there are going to be those voices already saying is it enough, how about joining the fight to make sure we're successful and then we'll keep pushing forward. >> police commissioner ramsey, there are two issues here, it seems to me, in terms of the type of violence. you have the predominantly handgun violence of criminals and gangs. then you have the mass shootings, which have escalated in recent years. i think half of the 12 worst mass shootings in american history have come since 2007. most of them now happen with the ar-15 style assault rifle. seems to me they're almost two different issues to deal with, certainly from a policing point of view. >> semi automatic handguns pose the biggest threat to us in cities. last year inful did he hava, we had 331 homicides, 85% were committed with a firearm and vast majority semi automatic handguns, 9 millimeter being the most important.
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all these laws have to fit together. it's not an either/or proposition. banning assault weapons in and of itself will not solve the problem. you have to do it in combination with a variety of things. so, i'm pleased that the administration is moving forward. i agree with the mayor. it's a start but it's not the finish. >> right. let's turn to beau biden. the reality is that this will not solve the gun problem in america, it's not going to stop mass shootings. what it is, it seems to me, is an imminently sensible reaction to the horrors of what happened in sandy hook and, indeed, in aurora and the other seven mass shootings in 2012. >> i think we are going to see tomorrow a common sense approach to dealing with the issues you've laid out, both mass shootings, tragedies like what happened in connecticut but also what's happening on the streets of my city and the city i love and used to work in in philadelphia, the market street in philadelphia or market street in wilmington, delaware.
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you see a proliferation of weapons being used, younger and younger people using them, being used on them and against them. this is going to be a comprehensive approach to deal with all of these issues. three kind of legs that this stool will be built on, one dealing with gun voils. two is dealing with school safety and three, i think, is dealing with the mental health category, making sure you have a rational approach to making sure that people who have mental illnesses, not just those who have been adjudicated as such, have less access to weapons. i hope we'll be hearing about that tomorrow and i hope that's what we'll be talking about in my state. >> certainly you've seen both in your state and now new york with governor cuomo bringing stringent laws to a state that already had tough laws. as the commissioner said, they're attacking now all aspects of this. there are many threads to how you deal with gun violence in
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mencht america. i simply can't understand why these military-style weapons are even in civilian hands. you have to add in mental health, the potential impact of video violent games on deranged people, hollywood movies, even. but certainly the handgun situation as well. your father obviously has put in a lot of time in this, as he did before. one of the big reality checks tomorrow is going to be whatever the president says on the recommendations, can it get through congress? can it actually become law? >> well, that remains to be seen. congress has an obligation to act. you know, i'm not going to preview what the president is going to say and what my father has recommended to him. i'm going to attend tomorrow. i look forward to hearing what they are offering. i know it's comprehensive and my father has put a lot of thought and effort, meeting with the nra to victims and survivors in connecticut to other sportsmen as well as people that have been on the fight to have a sensible
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gun policy in america. but, look, on the assault weapons piece of this, look, i served in the military. i was assigned an m-16 for the majority of my career. these are weapons designed for battlefields, not our cities and communities. so that's a part of it. but a big part of it, piers, something you talked about very eloquently, is right now in the 1968 gun control act, one of the categories people prohibited are people that have been adjudic. ted mentally ill. i have a view of whether that's too narrow a group. how do we deal with the person that's been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, should they be able to walk out of their diagnosis from their psychiatrist and go to the walmart and buy a weapon? under the current law, they can. unless they've been adjudic. ted mentally ill, they can. you will involve privacy folks who are great defenders of privacy, a line with defenders
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of the second amendment. these are difficult issues we need to work through. i'm confident that the administration's package will attack those things as we are here in the city of delaware. >> turning now to dr. webster. you spent the last two days at more than 20 of the leading gun experts. tell me this. how does the united states compare to other countries? take the most industrialized countries in the world. is it as shock iing as many wou have us believe? >> yes, it is. if you compare united states homicide rates with other high-income countries in terms of their average homicide rates, ours is approximately six times higher than other countries of similar wealth. if you look at our firearm homicide rates, our rates are 22 times higher than other countries. >> dr. fox, you're an expert of
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school and mass shootings. the obvious question for people like me who reacted to the horror of sandy hook and demanded that these assault w weapons be removed from circulation is this, would it make any difference? are they choosing these weapons because they're easy to get ahold of? will they find another weapon that can do the same job for them? >> well, this is like sandy hook certainly to motivate us to do some reasonable, sensible things that we must do about gun violence. but they will have the least like hihood of impacting mass murder. mass murder is a very deliberate, very determined to reach their mission. and they will do whatever they need to do to get a weapon, no matter what we put in their way. all these strategies the white house is talking about are good ideas, but the fact of the matter is that there's, unfortunately, far too many weapons already in circulation, which a mass murderer can acquire. and even if he can't get a gun, by the way, the largest mass murder in america was with
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bombing, oklahoma city. the second largest, with fire, in the bronx. so these are all good ideas. but if you expect that this will prevent the next sandy hook from occurring -- and i hear people saying that -- you'll be bitterly disappointed. >> mr. mayor, let me ask you. you're a mayor of a huge city, as i said, with a lot of these problem that is you have to deal with drekt directly on a daily basis. clearly there's no easy fix to this underpinning it all, you have a culture of guns and of gun violence in this country. >> right. >> which is unlike almost anywhere else in the world. how do you deal with that issue? how do you deal with the americans who say, no, you're not having any of my guns? it's my second amendment right to bear arms. i can have all this. >> first of all, no one is talking about taking anyone's weapon. but even the u.s. supreme court has made clear, chicago ruling and the washington, d.c. ruling, that you can place reasonable
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restrictions on guns. many, many states have a variety of -- almost a menu of restrictions in terms of type of weapon, type of ammunition, et cetera, et cetera. i commend governor cuomo and the assembly in the senate in new york. they're respecting the second amendment. they're trying to make their state that much safer. so this is not about the second amendment. as you have said earlier, i have said certainly many, many times why does a civilian need a military-style assault weapon? why does a civilian need body armor? you cannot buy hand grenades. those are weapons. somehow those are prohibited. you cannot buy an f-15 just because you think you would like to have that kind of device. we need to talk about more serious things. >> you have, actually, a lot of gun control in america. this is the myth of this debate. there's already substantial gun contr control. commissioner, let me ask you this. lots of things are banned
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already. it's merely a question, really, of degree. i have yet to hear a good argument for why an ar-15, which is a military-style weapon, why that should be in civilian hands. no one can say anything other than they're fun to use. that's not good enough anymore, is it? >> well, listen, i agree with you. i think there's no legitimate reason for a civilian to have those kinds of weapons. the kinds of laws i would like to see across the board, pennsylvania is a very good example of very weak gun laws, just the opposite of new york. registering firearms. if you want to sell the firearm, there should be -- gone through a federal firearms license dealer where there's a background check done, some transfer of title just like if you sold your automobile. you can't just give your car away and not transfer the title. >> what gets me, they always throw back to me on twitter or whatever it may be, what about cars? they kill more people than guns. cars have another purpose. they transport people. guns have just the one person.
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in relation to driving a car you have to go through all sorts of regulations. >> you have to get a license. >> americans go along with that. this kind of invasion of your rights, i don't get. a gun is more dangerous than a car. >> they're not particularly serious arguments and they're not people who want to be serious about public safety. they don't get the phone calls. they don't get the e-mails and text messages about another body in the streets. and so this is what we deal with on a daily basis. and we mourn, certainly, the tragic loss in newtown or aurora or tucson. but in cities all across america almost on a daily basis, someone is shot and people are killed and we do have a culture of violence issue in the united states of america that we must address. >> 35 americans are killed with guns every day. >> right. >> more than double that take their own lives every day. >> yes. >> then you can add another whole lot that get hit by gunfire thanks to developments
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in modern surgery they survive. >> we're very fortunate. we have excellent trauma centers or the numbers would be a lot higher than they are now. dr. fox mentioned that, you know, it's not an absolute that will stop mass shootings. i understand that. i think everybody understands that. we need to put in place as much as we possibly can to try to minimize the opportunity for people who should not have guns to get their hands on them and use them. >> dr. fox you want to jump in here? >> yeah. let me add one thing. the mayors against guns brought this up just yesterday in their report. we also have to deal with how guns get into the illegal gun market. this is not necessarily gun show issue or background checks. but we need to repeal the amendment that prevents people like me and other researchers to identify the rogue dealers who just aren't doing what they should be doing in terms of keeping the best records and making sure that the wrong people don't buy guns. we know, for example, that less than 1% of gun dealers in this country are responsible for
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about half of the guns that are used in violent crimes. we need to identify those dealers and perhaps make sure that they upgrade their business practice. you also have to do something about the teaharden amendment. >> chicago gets blamed for the horrific gun violence they have. half the illegal guns they find in chicago come from indiana, where they have much more lax control. keep everybody here. take a break. when we come back next, gun rights advocates will join me on my panel to defend the nra. why they say more gun control is wrong for america. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today.
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looks like you're in a pickle. yeah. can you get me out of it ? just so happens i know a chap... book any flight and hotel together and get access to our free personal concierge service. any need, any question, we're on call 24/7. welcome back to my special "guns in america," police commissioner charles ramsey, mayor michael nutter. her brother was shot and killed when they were children. also nicholas johnson, professor at school of law and lou palumbo, director of the elite protection and security firm also a former police officer.
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you had an awful tragedy in your early life involving firearms. despite that, you have quite strong views that there should be no more gun control, as such. why is that? >> because evil is going to happen. that is the thing. they will find a way. if someone wants to do somebody harm, they're going to do it regardless of whether they use a gun, knife or any sort of tool. all this is doing is punishing the legal, good citizens of the united states and taking away rights that were given to us by our founding fathers. >> do you think the founding fathers ever had in mind when they framed the second amendment at a time when muskets were the preferred weapon of choice and took 15 seconds to reload an ar-15 bushmaster style rifle? >> you could look at the first amendment and say could the founding fathers imagine something like the internet and cable news networks? if we're going to sit there and start applying the second amendment to different weapons, where do we stop?
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>> the first amendment was freedom of expression and speech and for the press. that hasn't changed depending on the medium. but the apparent ability of an ar-15 compared to musket to cause mass carnage and mass murder is significantly different. >> the other thing to think about is the variation between the power of the individual and the power of the state. at the time that you're talking about in 1787, the government had muskets and individuals had muskets, there was a very close correlation between the power to use violence on both sides. the other thing that you have to take into account, this is something i haven't heard in this debate, if you look basically to the middle of the 19th century, 1862, winchester henry rifle, report on that rifle that i just cited in a recent paper showed that it fired 15 rounds in less than ten seconds. the fact of the matter is that repeating technology is 150 years old. and one of the worries here, i think, for people on the other side of this is that when we go through this bad gun analysis that there's not really a solid
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boundary between the current category of assault weapons, particularly rifles and any other gun that is out there. >> why ban machine guns then? >> machine guns were banned in 1934 as a result of the national firearms act. i think you can make a coherent distinction between semi automatic firing and automatic firing. >> explain to me the distinction between an m-16, military machine gun and an ar-15 semi automatic that may have been modified, for example. >> you added modified, but the fundamental distinction is that the machine gun will fire, first of all, it will fire from a belt. the machine guns that are mainly targeted under the national firearms act are guns that you could categorize as requiring multiple individuals to operate. so the idea -- no, so the idea that -- >> right. ar-15 fire 100 bullets in a minute and somebody like the in
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aurora, holmes, they are effectively machine guns. >> no, they are not. no, they're not. >> i know they're no terms of descripti description. but in terms of fire power, they behave like a machine gun. >> no, they don't. in terms of fire power they're not that distinct from lots of other repeating technology. if you're serious about this, and i think -- i'm not here to defend anyone or any particular group but if you're serious about this, you have to acknowledge that there is a thin distinction between the repeating capacity of the ar-15 and a whole list of things that appe appeared on the good guns list in 1994. one of the problems with what happened here is that we're going to make things worse. we're going to make things worse. >> wait a minute. >> here is how it happened in 1994. it happened in 1994 that we focused on handgun control, no longer interested in handgun bans. josh sugarman wrote a memo saying let's focus on this other thing that people mistake for machine guns. what happened was we took guns that were in the inventory at a
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rate of about 300,000, 400,000 guns. this law juiced the demand. now we've got millions of -- probably have ten million ar-15s in the inventory. that is a consequence partly of the -- >> earlier in the week, the problem is the nra and gun lobby now have such a powerful voice and they play off this fear factor that exactly that happens, the volume of guns sold, round of ammunitions sold rockets any time there's any conversation about gun control or in the immediate aftermath of any massacre. i've read a staggering statistic today. did you know that more americans bought guns in the last two months, december and november, than would fit the entire chinese and indian armys? i mean, beau biden, when you hear that, what does that tell you as a reaction to aurora and then sandy hook? >> well, piers, look, the
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reality is that gun sales sigh rocketed upon the election of barack obama and vice president joe biden in 2009. they sky rocketed again in this recent election and well before the tragedies in connecticut. there's a lot of misinformation out there on the part of gun owners. i'm a gun owner. i have a shotgun. i was in the military, i had an m-16 assigned to me for most of my career. as the mayor said, who i have great respect for, and the chief just 20 miles from my hometown, the second amendment and the supreme court has spoken. united states constitution has guaranteed a right to bear and keep arms. that doesn't mean it's an absolute right just as you referenced at the first amendment. you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater. justice scalia has spoken eloquently in his opinion that the fact is that you can regulate the types of firearms that are actually -- can be regulated. there has to be common sense approach to this. they are very difficult issues.
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we propose an assault weapons ban. we also focus on a universal background check, something that those on the far -- >> sorry. if i may, beau, i want to bring in lou palumbo, who has lots of experience in firearms. when you hear people say there's no compare sison between m-16 military weapon and ar-15, what do you think? >> it's a little bit of semantics. the semi automatic ar-15s cycle at such an extreme rate they're capable of inflicting an immense amount of damage in a very short window of time. the issue here also with the nra, should be behind this. apparently we need to address the vetting process that isn't in place for civilians that is in place for us in law enforcement. in other words, as a condition, i had to comply with psychological screening to get a handgun so i could work with it. the general public walks in with a driver's license and two days walk out with a handgun.
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it's not sufficient any longer for us to know the only thing about you is the fact that you haven't been convicted of a felony. that's just the reality check. it's part of the evolution of our culture. we need to know more -- >> when you hear this, what no one has told me yet i why anybody would need an ar-15. what do you actually need one for? >> our bill of rights isn't a bill of needs, it says bill of rights. it is our right. hundreds of thousands of. >> scotie. >> so we could have that right to own it. >> you're not answering my question. why do you need one? >> to protect myself and protect my family. right now we might like our government but you've got cambodia, russia, germany. >> right. just to clarify -- >> governments go corrupt. >> just to clarify you believe an american government in the modern age is going to turn tyrannical? >> i have a right to be able to own a gun just in case. >> i want to clarify what you're saying to me. you would need an ar-15 to protect yourself against your
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own government? >> tomorrow we have 19 executive orders coming down. i wouldn't say that's a tyrannic a. l government but kind of sounds like they're mandates. we've had natural disasters where police have cleared out of those cities and the people that had weapons were safe. we don't know what's going to happen today. we might have a bright, sunny america. who is to say what will happen in the future? >> how about this one? you're a young gay couple or young interracial couple in a rural area and the next morning there's a kl a. n march downtown. the next night you go home and you wonder what the night holds and what the next several weeks hold. i would venture that you could talk with a variety of people in that context and they would say, i think i would like a gun. and those people might actually -- those people -- >> you might want to call the police. >> here is the deal. here is the thing about police. look what all these crimes have in common. we're sitting here talking about these vicious crimes. one thing they have in common, the police came after the crime happened. the rapes, murders, suicides,
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the police weren't there when they happened. >> can i respond to the mayor? this is core. this is central. there is a window of imminent threat. >> hold your comments to the mayor until after we come back from the break. you can call the police. by the way, i have no problem, nor does he, with americans having a gun at home to protect their family. that's not this issue. when we come back, we'll debate more of this and the president's plan for universal background checks. i need you. i feel so alone. but you're not alone. i knew you'd come. like i could stay away. you know i can't do this without you. you'll never have to. you're always there for me. shh! i'll get you a rental car. i could also use an umbrella. fall in love with progressive's claims service.
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back now on my special "guns in america." we left it on a point you raised about calling the police. you have an issue with that. >> i want to emphasize this. it sharpens the point of our disagreement. people who own guns have kids, families. they lv them. they've got a different view about how to maintain their individual security. and what we're talking about in response to your comment, call the police, is that there is a window of imminent threat that's recognized by our law of self defense that says the government's monopoly on violence is something that we create an exception to.
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>> here is my response. i don't think anybody in this room, or very, very few people -- >> legitimate violence. >> government's monopoly on violence? >> no, the government has a monopoly on legitimate violence. the government can execute people, can imprison people. when you go into a civilized society, the idea is that only the government can use violence. >> let me interrupt here. i think we're drifting slightly off point. most people in this room have no issue with americans having a gun at home to defend themselves. i come back to, scotie, of what i said earlier. what is the purpose and the need of an ar-15 that can have a magazine of 100 bullets? nobody can give me any reason why a civilian needs that. your explanation appears to be you fear a tyrannical government of attacking you. >> i have the right. that's my first explanation. i have the right. hundreds of thousands of men and women the last 2,000 years have died for me to have that right. >> to have an ar-15? >> to have any gun.
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>> why do you need an ar-15? >> god forbid something happens in this country. piers, we have $16 trillion in debt. our economy is teetering. what would happen if our economy collapsed? who is to say what would happen? look at l.a. riots, everything that happened. things happen in this world. >> then there's a reality check. >> this is reality check. >> back in the 18th century, right? let me explain one other thing to you. if your government does turn tyrannical they have 5,000 nuclear war heads at their disposal to come after you and your guns. let's wake up and smell the coffee. >> you know, if they want to drop a bomb in tennessee -- >> let me bring in james fox. >> that's just ludicrous. >> we seem to be focusing too much just on ar-15 and assault weapons. a small percentage of homicides are committed with assault weapons. >> exactly. exactly. >> wait. let me respond to that. because the reason that i've been focused on that, in
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particular, i'm aware it's a small percentage of the killings in america. last four shootings in america, aurora, oregon shopping mall, firemen lured to their deaths before christmas and then sandy hook, all of those have involved an ar-15. it's become the preferred weapon for mass shootings. >> no, no. >> the reason is they are killing machines. >> it is not with assault weapons, actually. >> i said the last four. >> semi automatic weapons, not assault weapons. during the assault -- >> look at the ban. columbine had them when the ban was going on. >> with the greatest of respect to everybody here, especially you, mr. fox, with the greatest respect, if a madmen can go up to sandy hook elementary school and in the space of a few minutes kill 20 kids and six others, hit between three and 11 bullets each, i'm sorry, that is an assault weapon. what else do you call it? >> you and i agree. there's a broader problem, broader issue. we can't just focus on the
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ar-15. >> nor can you dismiss it. >> you said it yourself, a mad man. that's the issue right now. we don't need to be dealing with the guns. >> that's part of the issue. >> no. he was going to do harm no matter what. he had handguns. >> why don't you make it as hard as possible for him to get his hands on it? where did he get the guns from? his mother. >> irresponsible parenting. >> that's not good enough. irresponsible parenting, to me, is not a way to try to tackle this problem. you can't say you have to be better parents to try to stop an adam lanza. >> right. i just want to respond to some of the comments earlier that are off the mark. the idea that if they don't have a gun they'll use something else. that's why we have a homicide rate in the united states at six times higher than other high-income countries. it's not because -- we actually -- violent crime rates are not all that different. we don't have any real
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differences with mental health in terms of having more mentally ill people. we don't have kids who are more troubled or bullied or depressed. we have more guns. that's why we have more homicides. >> actually, sir, we have number one -- yes, we have more guns, 88 guns per 100 people. there's no doubt about that. we are ranked number 28 in the world on actual homicides behind honduras, jamaica and elsalvador because we allow the good people to be able to defend themselves. that's the real reason. >> your answer has nothing to do with -- >> this argument, mr. mayor, about the good people -- >> that's ludicrous. >> apparently protecting america's position, the reality -- this is a reality check again. take britain, take australia. both had massacres. a lady here from dublin, scotland, 16 school children killed age 5 years old. national handgun ban, national assault weapon ban. ever since then national average of murders has been between 30 and 60 ever since.
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>> your violent crime rate is through the roof, number one. >> scotie, let me finish. i'm not disputing that britain doesn't have numerous problems with knife crime and robberies and burglaries and all those things. the thing we got right was gun crime. >> people now use knives. they find other ways. >> australia found two things. they brought in their bans and found that the murder ray rate came down but also significantly so did the suicide rate. 18,000 americans kill themselves with guns every year. the question is, how many would if they didn't have guns in their homes? >> they would find something else. there are other ways to commit suicide. >> on the suicide data, you actually -- that is the stronger -- if you look at the data, suicide data is the stronger argument here, because there is an indication that if you look at what happens with firearm suicides that when young people attempt suicide, if they attempt it with a gun, their success rate is higher. often times you interview them afterwards, they don't have the
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gun, they survive and basically change their minds. >> i'm keen to try to keep the debate on an even keel. it's a passionate debate. i respect both sides and totally respect the second amendment people who say you are breaching my rights. i get that's an argument many, many americans feel. how do you convince them this is not an attack on their rights, if you like? >> it is not an attack on their rights. citizens in our city and many cities across america are being attacked by criminals who have weapons, who shouldn't have them. there are a lot of weapons in city cities all across the united states of america. so, this is about reasonable, common sense steps that can be taken to make sure that inappropriate folks don't have weapons in the first place and that our streets are safe. much of this discussion, with every respect -- and i'm sorry for your loss -- has nothing to do with what goes on in most cities across the united states of america, trying to make sure
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people are safe. >> how do you explain to me -- explain to me, how can the cities with the largest ban, the strongest rules are the ones with the highest crime rate? chicago, california, your own city right now has an issue with this crime. >> scotie, wake up a moment. >> i am awake. >> chicago has strong gun control but the states around it have weak gun control. >> and they're still going to get the guns. >> until you have a federal consistency, nothing will change. >> piers, supreme court -- >> acknowledge that when you look at the gun ownership rate in places where the rate is high versus where the places is low -- >> let's take a break. >> high gun ownership rate is corresponding with lower gun crime. >> what is indisputable is that america has 11,000 to 12,000 gun crimes a year. australia has mid 40s, britain has 35, japan about 10. debate hit hardest by the familim members of the victims of gun violence join our
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joining me now in the audience, their cousin was wounded in the aurora theater shooting and her daughter, veronica, lost her life that day. welcome to you both. i notice both of you have been getting emotional in this debate. it must be very difficult for you. you have an ongoing tragedy and you also lost this beautiful little girl. heather, tell me how you feel about the way you've heard people talk about this issue. >> well, i'm with you, piers. i'm concerned that these laws that the vice president and task force have worked so hard on won't pass because what i'm hearing is one side being so adamant on saying that they're
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right instead of doing the right thing and we lost family members and we know that it has to take small steps to get somewhere. and i just wanted to say that i don't think people understand that i don't hear anyone saying that anyone wants to take the guns away or not let you have the right to bear arms. i just keep hearing people saying i'm right, i'm right and then they don't want to listen to the other side and i'm afraid nothing is going to be done. but you can't do nothing. how are you going to tell my children that nothing has been done after what happened to our family? >> but, piers, the truth of the matter is this. these assault rifle bans are not going to change this dynamic in america. wait, wait, wait. let me finish what i'm saying. a heart to heart about how we handle mental illness, the enforcement issue, the vetting of people that get these firearms and an overall education for americans who
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possess them is going to change this country. >> let me -- i think that's all very valid. i do. i think these are all very relevant points. when you have a family like this who has been destroyed over what happens happened. you saw, ashley -- kendra, when you hear people insist on saying that these ar-15 weapons are not assault weapon, what do you say to that? >> it's really impossible for me to understand that the killers could get that kind of power in their hands. it doesn't make any sense at all to me. i don't blame honorable gun owners. i don't want to take away your second amendment rights. i need to know that you'll stand up for me, too. i mean, you should be carrying that second amendment right with honor and being proud that that's not accessible to everybody. >> the man that ruined the lives of this family, he has just been in court recently. he got 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the internet
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anonymously, he armed himself with four weapons and then james holmes dressed up as the joker and walked into a movie theater, planned the whole thing and hit 70 americans, killing 12, killing their little niece, paralyzing their sister. and for them to have to hear you say these aren't assault weapons and we shouldn't take them away from civilians, it is hurtful to them. they want to hear you say i'm a gun owner. i understand this is not about anyone taking my weapon from my home to defend myself but these military weapons have got to go. >> let me say this, first of all, the pain you've gone through, been there. it's horrible. you will never recover. your family will never recover for generations and i'm so sorry for that. but the question is, he obtained those guns illegally. those were not his legal guns. we have to realize that. and if we look at all these shootings where they've happened, schools, malls, theaters, there's one thing they all have in common. they are gun-free zones. there was no one there with a gun to be able to stop them.
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>> i could argue that point. >> that's my question. tomorrow barack obama is going to -- really, if this was so high on the president's agen agenda -- >> i keep hearing this gun-free zone. most mass shooters get killed in the mass shootings, they don't give a damn if they live or die. why do they care about going through a gun-free zone? they're going to kill dozens and dozens of innocent people. >> and probably kill themselves in the end. >> they assume they're going to get killed. >> i never left a note saying because it was a gun-free zone. i never saw anybody find any evidence that they thought it was a gun-free zone. >> if you're going to sit here and commit a crime, i'm not going to do that at a place where everybody has guns. that's why you don't hear it at gun shows. >> these things don't happen at police stations. >> we're going to take a break.
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welcome back to my special "guns
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in america." joining me is a man whose son died at sandy hook elementary and one thing you said is the shooter purchased his guns illegally. in fact he purchased them legally. that argument is shattered. secondly, of course, he you said they operate in gun-free zones. columbine wasn't a gun free zone. ft. hood was the most heavily armed secure place possibly in america and a madman went berserk and killed people. >> but columbine. >> i want to correct you on those two. >> wisconsin -- >> none of them in gun-free zone. you are always extremely moving about as you played me in the green room after the show a little tape you have of your little boy singing you happy
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birthday and it broke my heart. i can't imagine what it is like. i know you have been getting emotional too. people talk in this way and no apparent comprehension why you want these weapons taken away. what's your reaction? >> i agree with this lady about it is our constitutional right to bear arms. that i can respect i still don't understand why somebody would, especially after what happened to my child, jessie, want or need an assault-type rifle, an ar ar-15 for protection. a shotgun or handgun would be efficient. we have the strongest military in the world. one person or a handful of people with assault rifles isn't going to protect our country.
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>> are you encouraged by what you think is coming tomorrow from the president? >> i hope to see a ban on assault rifles or much stricter possession of them. as for the restrictions years ago where machine guns have to be registered in federal registration, stronger background checks on it. >> i think like everyone we talked about this. all the other things come in to play, the mental health and obsession with these people. >> there's many factors. i think mental health is a big issue. what to do with people that have mental health issues as to how to treat them, whether they should be constitutionalized or what. >> let me bring in paul whose brother died in the empire state
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building in 2012. police opened fire on a man recently and killed him. what is significant two policemen trained to fire guns actually hit nine bystanders. and they are trained people at close proximity. that said to me this casual idea of arming everybody, to direct scotty. could you imagine if the empire state building 9:00 in the morning all those people if it was armed it would have been like the wild west after my brother was shot there in front of the empire state building. it's time for this common sense approach that mr. biden was saying what the brady campaign is talking about. we have to take steps, big steps like lou has been mentionage. we can't have what happened to
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his son happen to anybody anymore. it is outrageous we accept 10,000, 11,000, 12,000 murders in this country. it is outrageous we accept that as a nation. we are a nation that you are going to compare us to honduras and other countries that you said. this is america. we cannot stand to have this many murders. >> excellent point. excellent point. we'll be right back with something from the nra that may interest you after the break. ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it.
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